Sunday, November 30, 2014

Discoveries

Listening:

Fave new band 'Austra'.  Got the tip from my sister-in-law...merci!  This one is my favorite...no, THIS one...


Collecting:

We live on a hilltop - we get quite a bit of snow in the winter months.  This year, I'm adding "case of wine" to our list of emergency supplies in case we get stuck up here!  (Ok and I'm sure everyone in the world is already doing this, but I frequently spy on en trend restaurant wine lists for a top rated wine suggestion that isn't too mainstream yet.  This one, I found at this chic little tapas place on Charlotte Street in London.  Like having a personal sommolier!)




Neighborhooding:


A street in Gastown in Vancouver.  We stopped for microbrew IPA beer and Peking duck pizzas
on this walk...



Fawning:


...over this drawing our seven year old Oliver recently made.  What's with the flying radish?!


What is inspiring you these days??

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quiet Spirit - How I Paint Portraits

Recently, I have happily been selling sets of my portrait prints.  The most recent trio made their way to a brand new loft in Hoxton, a neighborhood in London.




I thought I'd take a few minutes to share my thoughts on portrait illustrating.

When I'm drawing someone's likeness, it's a very quiet, intimate exercise.  After all, I am trying to capture the spirit of someone.  As an artist and an introverted one at that, it's a therapeutic activity - to draw members of my community.  Discovery, or sometimes re-discovery, of one another is a veritable human tendency, necessity...instinct.  What we all have in common with one another is the desire to be seen; to have our lives recognized; our efforts noticed.

When I'm drawing someone's likeness, I can only describe myself as falling in love with the subject.  It isn't as creepy as it sounds, truly!  I learn to love their story - the one I'm seeing in their face.

I work on custom portraits regularly, but also keep "characters" in stock to be printed in a multitude of sizes, ready for you to frame!

Portrait Prints

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Container Couture

I'm most definitely weeks and weeks behind all the other Pacific Northwest gardeners, but I've finally tilled our patches and planted our spring bulbs.

...and I'm beyond thrilled (don't want to say I've been 'obsessed' with these for years ever since I read this article, but...) to have in my possession the most amazing collection of dwarf irises!  I procured them at the local garden shop,  which always carries comprehensive cargo, but have never had quite this selection of rare and coveted dwarf irises.

We are small-space dwellers, and container gardeners, so these littles are the perfect fit.  In my special collection are the following petite species:
  • - danfordiae
  • - katharine hodgkin
  • - j.s. dyt
  • - cantab
  • - natasha

I'm especially excited to have the brilliant plum-hued j.s. dyt and the superbly speckled katharine hodgkin. There are many others who share my enthusiasm for these petite irises;  groupies, unite!




The beautiful Katharine Hodgkin. (source)


I'd also love to plant a fragrance garden, a mono-chromatic planter, and a colour-wheel flower pot.  Maybe next season...

So excited for these to spring forth!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

We are suited up and ready to trick or treat!

I've found the perfect "dinner on the go" for Mr. Hausfrau while he chaperones our little werewolf and princess this year:  nicoise salad in a bun!  I can't think of anything nicer.





Tuna Nicoise Sandwich  (source)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cans oil-packed tuna (6 ounces each), drained
  • 1/4 English cucumber
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 8-inch round loaf country-style bread
  • 3 tablespoons jarred olive tapenade
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large eggs, hard-cooked and sliced


Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 tablespoons dressing to another bowl; toss with tuna. To remaining dressing, add cucumber and onion; toss to combine.
  2. Cut bread in half horizontally; remove most of soft interior crumb. Spread tapenade on bottom half. Top with basil leaves, then egg slices; season with salt and pepper. Top with tuna, then cucumber mixture; close sandwich.
  3. Wrap sandwich tightly in plastic and place between two baking sheets. Weight with a heavy skillet. Let stand 1 hour (or refrigerate, up to overnight). To serve, cut into quarters.


Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Highlights

Lovely scenes from the last few weeks...

Lego Love

Mariachi is so marvelously dramatic

Watercolour class in New Westminster

One of my new portraits on display

Loving the art the kids in my "Paint and Sketch" class created!

Minnie was great an all, but this is what caught my eye on a recent trip to Disneyland




Hope you are all well and weighing in on the great "Pumpkin: is it an overused fall flavour or one not to be missed" debate! (I'm in love with pumpkin flavoured everything...until early December or so)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall Art Classes

Finally!

After nearly four years at home raising our young children and happily homesteading, I'm venturing off the hill this autumn to teach a few classes!

I'm beyond excited to be sharing art skills with interested locals.  Take note if you're in the Vancouver area, I would love to meet you!






The two classes I am teaching at the Anvil Center are going to be held in brand new studios overlooking the river.  Really, an amazing venue!

The sketch class is being held through the Shadbolt Center of the Arts at the local school here on the hill.

Anvil Center

University Highlands Elementary


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Delightful Doing

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” 

                                                                   - L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

Fort Rodd Hill - Victoria, BC

Sea Cider Farm - Saanichton, BC

Burrard Dry DocksNorth Vancouver, BC

Steveston, BC


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